Scarcliffe Primary School

Ian Marsh

Head teacher

In 2019, Cara came in to our school to deliver the Reading Allowed programme to our staff, parents and our pupils.  The training really helped us to reflect on the extent to which we are encouraging children to read for pleasure and how much we are, at times, putting them off reading completely!  The programme has been a wonderful way to engage our children in reading high-quality picture books.  The sessions have been well received by the younger children and the Reading Allowed experts have really taken to their task well - they now manage the programme themselves.  Everything was provided including policies, training, books, blankets and timetables so we were up and running the following week.  

The impact of the programme is noticeable.  While we are able to measure this impact in terms of progress scores, it is the qualitative information that we have been more keen to gather.  The children LOVE the sessions and they are certainly sparking a passion for reading!  During a recent OfSTED inspection, I was delighted to be able to showcase the programme to the HMI inspector who was very positive about what he saw and how the children spoke about reading.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this programme to any schools who are wanting to shift the balance away from reading for tests towards reading for pleasure!

Scarcliffe Primary School, Derbyshire



St John Fisher Primary


Frank Barratt

Head teacher

The vast majority made progress and some made excellent progress. The children who did not make progress included children with EAL, ADHD and other issues - and so were being supported by a raft of other interventions as well.

The children that made 4+ APS were children that had stagnated and/or disengaged for a long time. It was a breakthrough.

Without exception the children enjoyed the initiative and felt that they had developed (a) greater confidence and (b) a more positive attitude towards reading as a result of being involved.

I have been really impressed by the philosophy behind 'Reading Allowed'. It is a very positive approach that promotes reading and tackles negative attitudes about reading and books. It is all about valuing reading as an end in itself. One of the most powerful aspects is the way it brings children together. The older children absolutely love being 'experts' and their younger partners really enjoy working with them - and see them as positive role-models.
The approach ticks so many boxes in terms of helping us to build a vibrant reading culture in school. It engages children and their families which is so important to embedding key attitudes. I have no doubt that the 'Reading Allowed' approach has contributed to our improved reading outcomes, because it satisfies the "What's in it for me?" question that can be a barrier to engagement.

F. Barratt
St. John Fisher Primary - A Catholic Voluntary Academy